I want to whoop with joy and bless the Lord for yesterday, our 25th wedding anniversary. Hubby and I are rather low key where celebrations are concerned, but, nonetheless, being happily wedded means a lot to us. Of course, like all married couples, there are the usual ups and downs of life, but our faith in Jesus Christ keeps us grounded in the importance of putting the other person before oneself.
We had an easy day of it on our silver anniversary. I had been hopeful of a nice sunny day, but woke up instead to cloudy skies. However, we decided to go out for a jaunt as planned anyway around the Lakes, and sometime mid-afternoon, the sun did decide to grace our special day.
Our object was Loughrigg Tarn. Two days previously, we had taken a wrong turning and by the time we had realised our mistake, we found that it was too close to sundown to try again. This time, we found our way there but were unable to locate a turn-off to the Tarn. We did see signs for the public footpath, but unfortunately we could not find a place to park the car.
The time was around noon, and my tummy was urging us to find some sustenance. ‘Where to next?’ asked Hubby. ‘Do you want to go to Dungeon Ghyll?’ Yep, I did. We have been there once, when the kids were still small. It is in the Greater Langdale Valley and surrounded by high fells, and a great favourite of fell walkers. Taking the steep route up through Chapel Stile towards Dungeon Ghyll was a little hairy, but thankfully we met no oncoming traffic on the narrow lane.
Dungeon Ghyll actually forms part of the name of two hotels: Old Dungeon Ghyll and New Dungeon Ghyll. However, there is another establishment that we had not noticed previously – the Sticklebarn Tavern. This last is owned and run by the National Trust. I went into the tavern to check out the menu and found two friendly ladies working there. There was free parking for patrons and Zack would be allowed in too. This, I thought, would be the ideal place for a meal.
And it turned out very well indeed. Hubby and I found a corner table with old-fashioned chairs and a padded bench next to an open fireplace. There was space for Zack to lie down if we could get him to and one of the servers even came over specially to say hello to our big softie. The food was not fancy but well cooked, and we enjoyed our meal. Soon, Zack’s admirers began to appear from the woodwork. One of them was a little girl of about 4 years who came over from the far side of this large tavern with her grandma so that she could say hello to our furry companion.
We never truly plan anything whenever Hubby and I go on these jaunts. This day was no different. Indeed, we came across a small road sign for Colwith after leaving Greater Langdale, and I suggested that we should head towards it. Colwith Force is a Lakeland waterfall. We were doing quite well with me navigating i.e. keeping a keen eye out for road signs, when my mobile phone rang. It was mother-in-law who was phoning us to wish us a happy silver anniversary. However, as I conversed with his mother, Hubby was rapidly losing track of where he should be going on those narrow twisting roads. Another place we missed seeing. Ah well!
Hubby, however, was all for turning back when he realised that we were now off track. I said that it did not matter to which he replied, ‘But you wanted to go there!’ By this time, I knew that we might have at most another 2 hours of daylight before dusk. I told Hubby that it was of no consequence really; we could go there another time. Thus we made our way back to Ambleside, keeping the Brathay River on our left. At Brathay, we parked the car, enjoyed a hot cup of tea each, and then went for a little walk with Zack. Hoarfrost had gathered above the field next to Brathay Church signifying a cold night to come.
By the time we returned to Blenheim Lodge at just before 5 p.m, the light had gone. It was nice to be back, to settle down, and to rest after a wonderful day out. The Lake District is so beautiful and there are so many nooks and crannies to explore that it is impossible to not to enjoy oneself in this amazing National Park. What will we discover next time we take another jaunt, I wonder?
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
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